Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Providence


"The God-centered message is essentially the proclamation of a God who is sovereign in mercy and judgment, sovereign in creation and redemption---the mighty Lord on whom man depends for all good, both in nature and grace. To put it another way, the God-centered message is God and His way with man. The subject of the man-centered message is man and the things God does for him, or the help God gives him."-Ernest Reisinger, Today's Evangelism

Often times what people want to hear preached is different to what I think they need to hear being preached. I do not want to begin a hate on Joel Osteen fest but I think many people want to hear someone tell them that it is easy to be a Christian (a disguised form of the Prosperity Gospel) and that if they remain in the Lord's favor their life will go well. Well that's not true and certainly fails in the call to the cost of discipleship.

There is in the faith/reward mentality a desire to overcome the unpredictable aspects of life's circumstances. There is a desire in the human mind for consistency, a desire for a predictable result-based orientation, a desire for predictive expectations of daily and long-term decisions. There is a longing for the absolution of anxiety and fear. There is a desire for assurances which overcome even the desire for happiness and continually results in people choosing life-styles and making decisions contrary to a the greater good and in spite of common-sense. Contrary to the greater public opinion we are not designed as the whole part of our existence to be happy, but to survive.

As Christians we are called to walk in faith. It is a position polarized from the world-view of existential living. It is predominantly expressed in a Christians acceptance of the salvation provided for by Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for my sins, but from that point forward the fullness of the expression of what walking in faith and trusting in God providentially means is not translated to a belief which truly depicts or even resembles a relationship founded and based upon the God of the Universe.

I continually look for the reality of faith with an expectation that belief in the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills is indwelling a people who purport a belief built upon an expectation for Him to provide, and yet live with a poverty mentality, clinging and holding, grasping and hoarding, unwilling to (for lack of better words) take the chance that God is who He says He is and live in the freedom of faith which has vanquished fear, and hope which has disemboweled the bully, anxiety.


I continually see in reality, a people who are torn between, or vacillate between opinions of poverty and those of a willingness to sacrifice. People tend to view what God has given them as a sacred trust, in which they, as the wise stewards of God's resources must determine the allocation of said resources. Given opportunity we will withhold or distribute resources towards those things that do not fit with our expectations of God's design and incapacitate those areas in need of our gifts and resources. We use shrewd as our by-word,having found the perfect context in which to parlay our false assumptions of what management, stewardship, discreetness, wisdom, discerning intellect mean. We have found a place in which we as the proclaimed by God distributors of His wealth have the inside tract and with this more than proper attitude, we determine how and when resources are to be used.


Luke 16:8 (NKJV) So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

The unjust steward ensured by his actions a secure future, but at what cost to his master?

It is always easier to withhold, than to give.


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